The Syrian regime will be holding in the incoming days a “presidential elections” as it tries to nominally legitimize the ruling regime that has been established, and still, by repressive and security power since Al-Baath coup on 8 March, 1963. The regime’s promotion of democracy and pluralism is more of a black comedy in the middle of all this destruction, atrocities, millions of displaced and refugees, and hundreds of thousands of killed, injured, arrested, and distorted victims. The Syrian regime’s policies can be classified openly as crimes against humanity
The United Nations General Assembly has established an initiative called “Responsibility to Protect”, known as “R2P”, on 2005, which suggest that when the states fail to protect their citizens of genocides, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In the Syrian case, the situation is even worse as Bashar Al-Assad regime itself is the one who is attacking residential areas across Syria. Thus, the responsibility to protect civilians in Syria rests, by definition, on the international community which has to respond in the appropriate manner by taking all the necessary actions in accordance with the 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters of the United Nations Charter.
We, in SNHR, deem the presidential elections in Syria illegitimate, because of the following:
1st: how could the elections have any realistic legitimacy in a reality where it is impossible to conduct the elections in more than 90% of Syria because of the continuous shelling and clashes, or because of 6.5 million IDPs and 3.845 refugees at least, or because the repressive authorities that doesn’t only prohibits its citizens from practicing their political rights but it may deprive them of the right to live itself if it senses the slightest rebellion against its policies.
2nd: how could the elections have the slightest moral and legal legitimacy under this regime’s authority which has on its hands dozens of crimes against humanity as it holds more than 215 thousands prisoners including 85 thousands who are forcibly disappeared and killed 4751 under torture (to the date of this statement) among them 92 child and 31 women whom are all documented in names and details in addition to the the sexual abuse crimes which more than 7500 women have suffered. No regime can perpetrate all this crimes if it has the least possible legal legitimacy. Furthermore, this regime has killed horrifyingly 108527 civilians at least including 14825 children and 13293 women, this suggests that in Syria 4 people gets killed every hour or 96 every day at the hands of the Syrian regime.
3rd: how could the elections have any legitimacy with a regime convicted of perpetrating war crimes according to the applicable laws and charters?
A. Use of internationally prohibited weapons
The Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on 52 occasions; the most notable of which was Ghouta attacks on 21/8/2013 which killed 1127 people; 40% of them were women and children in addition to the injury of 9260 people.
It has used also cluster munitions in nine Syrian governorates and tens of areas and killed more than 137 people.
B. Indiscriminate shelling using
Barrel bombs: according to a survey conducted by SNHR, government forces have used more than 5827 barrel bomb, killing no less than 6275 people including about 491 children. More than 97% of the victims are civilians, which is a clear indicator that these attacks were indiscriminate that aim to kill and only kill.
Barrel bombs have caused a huge destruction and damaged no less than 5630 building.
SCUD rockets: government forces have used no less than 238 SCUD rockets in its shelling against the Syrian governorates, most of the shelling concentrated on Aleppo and Ar-Raqqa. However, since the end of 2013 and the beginnings of 2014 the average uses of SCUD rockets had decreased and the government forces have replaced it with barrel bombs seemingly because of the low cost of barrel bombs compared to SCUD rockets.
SCUD rockets have killed 377 people all of whom are civilians including 108 children and 74 women and about 1850 injury.
C. Destroying secured buildings is a war crime
Schools: government forces have targeted schools destroying no less than 3873 schools, whether it were totally destructed or partially damaged. Additionally, intelligence and army forces, affiliated to the Syrian government, are using about 1200 school as arresting and torturing centers or headquarters.
Hospitals: The Syrian regime has also targeted hospitals with its Indiscriminate and deliberate shelling and its systematic looting and vandalizing. 45% of hospitals in Syria are completely out of service,
The other 55% hospitals are either partially functioning (15%) or in good state.
Churches: government forces had shelled no less than 33 churches and used some of it as headquarters.
Mosques: government forces had shelled more than 1594 mosques and used some of it as headquarters.
Residential neighborhoods: many of residential neighborhoods have been destroyed as a collective punishment.
We, In SNHR, condemn this blatant irreverence of the minds and feelings of the Syrian people, international community, and the continuous victims’ suffering. We renew our demands in revoking any diplomatic legitimacy of the Syrian regime, bringing the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice, and working extensively and on a wider scale to put an end to the ongoing Syrian tragedy which is getting heavier and more costly for the generations who are experiencing it And. we uphold the International Community the moral and historical responsibility of these tragedies.